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Benefits of BI

BI provides many benefits to companies utilising it. It can eliminate a lot of the guesswork within an organisation, enhance communication among departments while coordinating activities, and enable companies to respond quickly to changes in financial conditions, customer preferences, and supply chain operations. BI improves the overall performance of the company using it.

Information is often regarded as the second most important resource a company has (a company's most valuable assets are its people). So when a company can make decisions based on timely and accurate information, the company can improve its performance. BI also expedites decision-making, as acting quickly and correctly on information before competing businesses do can often result in competitively superior performance. It can also improve customer experience, allowing for the timely and appropriate response to customer problems and priorities.

Factors Influencing Business Intelligence

Customers are the most critical aspect to a company's success. Without them a company cannot exist. So it is very important that you have information on their preferences. You must quickly adapt to their changing demands. Business Intelligence enables you to gather information on the trends in the marketplace and come up with innovative products or services in anticipation of customer's changing demands.

Competitors can be a huge hurdle on your way to success. Their objectives are the same as yours and that is to maximise profits and customer satisfaction. In order to be successful you must stay one step ahead of your competitors. In business you don't want to play the catch up game because you would have lost valuable market share. Business Intelligence tells you what actions your competitors are taking, so you can make better informed decisions.

Business Partners must possess the same strategic information you have so that there is no miscommunication that can lead to inefficiencies. For example it is common now for businesses to allow their suppliers to see their inventory levels, performance metrics, and other supply chain data in order to collaborate to improve supply chain management. With Business Intelligence you and your business partners can share the same information.

Economic Environment such as the state of the economy and other key economic indicators are important considerations when making business decisions. You don't want to roll out a new line of products during an economic recession. BI gives you information on the state of the economy so that you can make prudent decisions as to when is the right time to maybe expand or scale back your business operations.

Internal Operations are the day to day activities that go on in your business. You need an in depth knowledge about the internal workings of your business from top to bottom. If you make an arbitrary decision without knowing how your entire organization works it could have negative affects on your business. BI gives you information on how your entire organization works.

Business Intelligence Technology

Business intelligence provides organisational data in such a way that the organisational knowledge filters can easily associate with this data and turn it into information for the organisation. Persons involved in business intelligence processes may use application software, such as the Cognos BI Suite, and other technologies to gather, store, analyse, and provide access to data, and present that data in a simple, useful manner. The software aids in business performance management, and aims to help people make "better" business decisions by making accurate, current, and relevant information available to them when they need it. Some businesses use data warehouses because they are a logical collection of information gathered from various operational databases for the purpose of creating business intelligence..

BI Technology Requirements

For the BI system to work effectively, enterprises must address the following technical issues:

Security and specified user access to the warehouse Data volume (capacity) How long data will be stored (data retention) Benchmark and performance targets

BI software types

People working in business intelligence have developed tools that ease the work, especially when the intelligence task involves gathering and analysing large quantities of unstructured data. Each vendor typically defines Business Intelligence their own way, and markets tools to do BI the way that they see it.

Business intelligence includes tools in various categories, including the following:

  • AQL - Associative Query Logic
  • Scorecarding
  • Business Performance Management and Performance Measurement
  • Business Planning
  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing
  • Data mining (DM), Data Farming, and Data warehouses
  • Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Forecasting
  • Document warehouses and Document Management
  • Enterprise Management systems
  • Executive Information Systems (EIS)
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Human Resources
  • Knowledge Management
  • Mapping, Information visualisation, and Dashboarding
  • Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and multidimensional analysis; sometimes simply called "Analytics" (based on the so-called "hypercube" or "cube")
  • Real time business intelligence
  • Statistics and Technical Data Analysis
  • Supply Chain Management/Demand Chain Management
  • Systems intelligence
  • Trend Analysis
  • User/End-user Query and Reporting
  • Web Personalisation and Web Mining Text mining

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